Political correspondent David Weigel retweets a sleazy joke, colleague Felicia Sonmez attacks him publicly on Twitter and throws Jeff Bezos’ newspaper in the middle: a story that is intertwined with some of the most thunderous editorial scandals of recent years
The Washington Post
has suspended for a month and without salary Dave Weigel
political correspondent and newsletter author The Trailerguilty of retweeting – and then deleting, apologizing – one misogynist joke and not even funny: «All women are bi. You just have to figure out if bisexual or bipolar. ” An all in all moderate sentence, considering the times: the accused did not comment, but his email has one automatic reply announcing the return to work for July 5thwhile his newsletter tonight was sent by Amber Phillips, a political dispatcher with the 5-minute Fix that he dismissed the matter with a “David Weigel is away”, without adding any details.
Too bad that the story has many details, and that intertwines with some of the most thunderous editorial scandals of recent years. Felicia Sonmez solicited her lynching in the social media court who, after scolding the colleague away from prying eyes in the editorial chat, attacked him publicly on Twitteralong with his own newspaper“It’s great to work in a newspaper where retweets like these are allowed,” Sonmez wrote, starting a exchange of blows with colleagues, lined up on one side or the other of the trench. “I just retweeted an offensive line,” Weigel commented shortly after. “I apologize and I didn’t want to hurt anyone”.
The dispute was first entered into by a colleague, Jose Del Real, who while condemning Weigel’s error – “terrible and unacceptable” – called on Sonmez to avoid public lynching. “Felicia, we’ve all been wrong at least once,” she wrote her, getting another machine gun. “Protesting against sexism is not lynching”he answered Sonmez, pulling in the direction of the newspaper by Jeff Bezos. The reporter did not stop for days and, over the weekend, the director of PostSally Buzbeewho sent a memo to his reporters asking to “Treat each other with respect and kindness”.
An apology wasn’t enough, and Weigel was suspended. Already in 2010 Weigel was forced to resign from the Post
after sending disparaging e-mails to conservatives – had called the opponents of gay marriage bigots and made negative comments about some Republicans, becoming targets – and had returned in 2015, after a passage to Slate And Bloomberg. Sonmez had also been suspended after Kobe Bryant’s deathin 2020, when – with the corpse still hot – he had pulled out the old rape allegations to the player, claiming that colleagues glorified a harasser.
Above all, however, Sonmez just lost a discrimination lawsuit
brought against the newspaper
which prevented her from covering up – as a victim of harassment in the past, but above all for her “activist attitude” – stories of sexual violence. In 2018, just arrived at Post, Sonmez had sued the correspondent for harassment of the Los Angeles Times in Beijing Jonathan Kaimanaccusing him of kissing her and stripping drunk after a correspondent’s club party, and of pressuring her to have sex.
The allegations were raised by a former college friend and roommate of Kaiman’s, who had undergone the same treatment in 2013. Kaiman defended himself by saying that he remembered a “fundamentally different” storyhe had apologized, had specified that he considered Sonmez “a good friend”, but had been forced to resign. “
or radioactive, ”he said a year laterexplaining that no one made him work anymore and that he was forced to live in his parents’ basement in Phoenix. Today – it’s been 4 years – he is studying law in UCLA, California, and on Twitter he defines himself as a “former journalist”.